Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cee Lo's Magic Moment

Premiered November 26, 2012

R & B singer and judge from The Voice Cee Lo Green hosts his first Christmas special.  It features a concert recorded last October 10 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

Cee Lo Green & his band on a very festive stage.
Cee Lo welcomes the Muppets, singers Eric Benet, Rod Stewart and all the vocalists who served as Green's team members on The Voice.

Songs include:

"Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"
"This Christmas"
"What Christmas Means To Me"
"The Christmas Song"
"Run Run Rudolph"
"Merry Christmas Baby" (with Rod Stewart)
"White Christmas"
"Silent Night" (with Eric Benet)
"All I Need Is Love" (with The Muppets & "Voice" contestants)

Cee Lo & Rod Stewart perform "Merry Christmas, Baby".
Between songs, we get some interaction between Cee Lo, Kermit (Steve Whitmire) and Miss Piggy (Eric Jacobson) of the Muppets , who are seated in the front row.  He dedicates his performance of 'The Christmas Song' to them.

CeeLo and Eric Benet sing 'Silent Night'. 
At the end of the concert, Cee Lo invites Kermie and Piggy up on the stage.  They talk about how they just recorded a song together called "All I Need Is Love" for Cee Lo's Christmas album.  They launch into the song and are joined by Fozzie Bear (Eric Jacobson), Pepe the King Prawn (Bill Baretta), Animal (Jacobson, again), Gonzo The Great (Dave Goelz) and the Snowths (Jacobson, yet again).

Cee Lo, the Muppets and The Voice team close the show with "All I Need Is Love"
The song borrows heavily from "Mahna Mahna", a song made famous by the Muppets.  Cee Lo invites his team from The Voice to back them up in a classic variety show "All Hands On Deck" closing number. 

J.A. Morris says:

I suppose your enjoyment of this special depends on how much you like Cee Lo Green's music.  I can take or leave him, but I enjoy some of his songs (especially "F*ck You").  He has a likeable stage persona here as the host.

Cee Lo backed up by his masked drummer.
 Cee Lo is also not above indulging in what could be described as "Christmas schmaltz".  For instance, while singing "The Christmas Song", he changes the lyrics.  Instead of "For kids from 1 to 92", he directs the song to the audience and sings "To each and everyone of you". Cee Lo seems to be channeling his inner Bing Crosby/Perry Como/Andy Williams here, not there's anything wrong with that at Christmas!

I wasn't crazy about most of his guests.  Rod Stewart is someone I can deal with in very small doses, and I don't watch The Voice, so a reunion of Cee Lo's team doesn't interest me.  But I did appreciate the song selection here.  "Run Run Rudolph", "What Christmas Means To Me" and "Merry Christmas Baby" aren't nearly as overdone as other Holiday hits.

But thing that prompted me to watch this was the Muppets.  I grew up with the Muppets and they've long been synonymous with Christmas TV specials.   Even though most of the original Muppeteers have either died or retired, it's always fun to see the Muppets.  Cee Lo has a nice rapport with them, he's not "too cool" to interact with Muppets.  And it was particularly nice to see old school Muppets like the Snowths make an appearance!  If you grew up liking the Muppets' performance of "Mahna Mahna", you'll probably enjoy the live performance here of "All I Need Is Love".

Cee Lo's Magic Moment will be most enjoyed by Cee Lo Green enthusiasts, but if you like the Muppets it's worth watching at least once.

J.A. Morris' rating:
2 and a half candy canes

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